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86 Reviews
5 star:
 (42)
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 (25)
3 star:
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2 star:
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a chilling shadow this book caught and then engulfed me
At first I found it difficult to get into this book, but French's writing skills embrace you, encouraging you to read the next line, next page, until you're a social outcast in the canteen at work, as you blatantly declare you "don't want to talk, I have my book to read". As a woman, I found the novel crept up on me, like a chilling shadow, that this is...
Published on 20 Sept. 2001

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars well written thriller whose plot lacks some credibility
A man (probably) sends letters to women with intimate details, telling them he will kill them. We first follow Zoe, a school teacher, who in vein tries to convince police and boyfriend of how serious the threat is. She gets killed. Then we follow Jennifer, a wealthy woman in an empty marriage to a business lawyer. See underestimates the death-threat. She does not try to...
Published on 15 April 2001 by Marc van Wegberg


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like a chilling shadow this book caught and then engulfed me, 20 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
At first I found it difficult to get into this book, but French's writing skills embrace you, encouraging you to read the next line, next page, until you're a social outcast in the canteen at work, as you blatantly declare you "don't want to talk, I have my book to read". As a woman, I found the novel crept up on me, like a chilling shadow, that this is something that could happen to any one of us in this day and age. The psychological thrill of the book makes it impossible to put down.
Zoe, Jenny and Nadia are all recognisable as women you may know, each individual and yet the same, targeted for a reason they cannot understand. The way in which the killer makes them question their knowledge of themselves will have you hooked, as they slowly but surely succumb, hooked through every last twist and turn. Buy it and enjoy it - you are never quite as alone as you think - I loved it
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dont read this at bedtime, 27 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Beneath the Skin (Paperback)
I read "killing me softly" by pure accident and was immediately hooked. I didnt think an author could do it twice but Nikki French certainly has. "Beneath the skin" captures the lives of 3 different women unknown to each other, but with one thing in common.. a killer. I read this book in 2 days flat as i just couldnt put it down. Each page has you curious for more yet too scared to turn the page. fantasticaly written with more suspense than you could ever dare to imagine.....just dont read it a bedtime, i had nightmares for a week!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Thriller, 7 Sept. 2005
By 
Veronica (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Three women. They are all petite, pretty and targeted by a killer who sends them threatening love letters. ZoŽ is a schoolteacher, 23 years old, kind-hearted and likeable. Jennifer is an ex-hand model and mother of three, 38 years old, selfish and rude; a woman whose husband treats her like dirt, and who in turn treats her own `staff' (nanny, cleaner, other hired help) and eventually the police, like dirt. Nadia is a children's party entertainer, 28 years old, messy, tough and impulsive. Each of them reacts to the threats differently and each develops their own relationship with the police and psychologist as they battle for survival.
This book is a fantastic read. I haven't read many thrillers for a long time, I guess because I needed a break from the genre. This book was the perfect choice to return to reading thrillers because it is so original, exciting, and suspenseful. It is one of the best psychological thrillers I have ever read. Nicci French's narrative was deeply engrossing. Each time a new character was introduced it was as if I was transplanted into their head and felt their emotions, saw into the depths of their lives, learnt exactly who they were and what they stood for. Although all three women were very different from me and I couldn't relate to some of their experiences or decisions, they just seemed like real, breathing people. I raced through the book from cover to cover in two days.
Overall this is a wonderful novel. I wish all thrillers were as slick and heartfelt and scary. I definitely recommend this to all thriller lovers, or just anybody who wants a deep, psychological read with excellent writing.
JoAnne
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best Nicci French I have read, 15 July 2007
By 
Jane (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
I have read most of the Nicci French books and have enjoyed all of them - I like the fact that they are real page-turners (in my opinion at least) but also have a significant psychological element. I think this is the best one and to me it shows how the writers have improved and progressed with their thriller formula.I also like the fact that the women are not just 'victims' and are mostly intelligent and resourceful.

My one real gripe with their books are that the titles are so forgettable - i can never remember which one is which. I wish they would come up with some memorable titles !
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Initiation Into Nicci French's Work, 31 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
My first Nicci French book and not my last!
I defy you not to try to outsmart the author and work out "who dunnit" before all is revealed. There is an abundance of suspects, some subtley placed, others more obvious. Even when part way through, French appears to unmask the murderer, you are still wary - is she playing tricks on you?
The structure of the book is excellent - the characters from each womans life gradually coming together into the final chapters, and the plot is very simple. It is the authors writing style which hides the truth - she doesnt need to confuse the reader in order to beat them.
For all its growing suspense and serious subject matter, this book is deceptively easy to read - you blink and find that you've finished it. Most important of all, you come away satisfied. You dont feel unfairly misled, you think, "ok, she beat me fair and square". Great.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars well written thriller whose plot lacks some credibility, 15 April 2001
By 
Marc van Wegberg (Maastricht, the Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A man (probably) sends letters to women with intimate details, telling them he will kill them. We first follow Zoe, a school teacher, who in vein tries to convince police and boyfriend of how serious the threat is. She gets killed. Then we follow Jennifer, a wealthy woman in an empty marriage to a business lawyer. See underestimates the death-threat. She does not try to get other people to help her, and is not very cooperative to the police. The husband cheats on her. The police now take the case seriously...
As in other Nicci French novels the book has nice observations on human nature, is very well written, and suspense-ful. In common with other books, the police are not much of a help. You need self-help to defend yourself. The women are described as active, lots of character, interesting, strong in a way. Men are largely useless creatures, they tend to be egoistic, flat, usually without genuine interest, such as an undependable boyfriend, a criminal, or unwary police-officer.
The plot, in my opinion, ranks lower than any other Nicci French novel (and I read all of them)...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of!, 19 May 2006
By 
RozziD "Rose" (Lincoln, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Wow - this book was fantastic. It is the first book I have read by Nicci French but I can guarantee it won't be the last.

It's a story about absolute fear and how one person can terrify another by simply writing a few letters!! Well, at least that's how the terrifying begins.

Three ordinary women have been targeted by a maniac - how many have to die before he is caught?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 22 May 2003
By A Customer
This was the 2nd Nicci French book I'd read, the 1st being Killing me Softly which was excellent.
Again, believable characters are the key to this very readable book, and as they are all women, it made a change for them to be 'normal' rather than 'superhuman' career women/mothers/wives/ as with so many other novels.
Not quite as dark as Killing me Softly but a great suspense novel
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!, 2 Aug. 2006
This book was GRIPPING! I couldnt put it down! If you like psycho-thrillers with a great twist at the end the look no further, this book is a must have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...leaves a bitter taste in your mouth..., 12 Aug. 2001
By 
Emanon (London, England) - See all my reviews
...it doesn't quite make it. A really good book is one you recommend to you friends, with no reservations. This is not one I can recommend or one I would wish to read again. Too many good people die, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and it is not a story you would want to turn back to.
The opening is impressive and covincing and funny. And that's not something that's easy to achieve. And at first there is a genuine sense of mystery. But by two thirds of the way through this is lost. Things becomes too obvious, and yes I agree with other reviews, the sex scenes are totally unnecessary... more attention should have been paid to plotting and plausibility, particularly towards the end.
Finally, the police are portrayed as dumb and stupid. Come on. We have seen this device used too many times, and it would be nice to see them placed on the same level as the amateur sleuth.
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Beneath the Skin
Beneath the Skin by Nicci French
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